Soulless Cult loyalists would know that outside of horror and death metal, we spend our time tending to our haunting collection of skulls and tarantulas. Our crypt even has an Instagram where we show off some of our stunning eight legged friends; so make a movie about a killer spider and you know we gotta check it out. ITSY BITSY - directed by Micah Gallo (who has a history of working on some great horror flicks) and written alongside Jason Alvino and Bryan Dick - was released last summer and takes the classic killer animal genre to new thrills with its massive, terrifying arachnid killer. Gallo brought in some pretty notable talent for the film, including Bruce Davison, Denise Crosby, Eileen Dietz, and Matty Cardarople to help tell its story. In short, there is an elderly man named Walter (Davison) who hires a live-in nurse named Kara Elizabeth Roberts to help assist him with his day-to-day. As part of the deal, Kara's son and daughter join her in living in a second house on Walter's property. Walter is a collector of ancient artifacts, and while he may not believe in some of the legends that follow the items in his collection, that doesn't mean they are not true. Unfortunately for the four of them, the legend surrounding a mysterious black egg Walter was given as a gift is truer than true. After the egg breaks, it releases an ancient deity who is out to seek revenge on humanity for turning its back on her. This ancient deity - however - is in the form of a massive, terrifying and dreadful spider - and she's out to fuck you up with her fangs and venom!
One thing you should know going into the film is that there is a pretty heavy amount of family drama storyline you have to sit through to get to the gold parts. And while it's not a tory we haven't heard before, it's actually a pretty dark web the film twists, and it sets a pretty sweet, dark tone over the entire film that really helps setup the last half where things really get turned up. Elizabeth Roberts absolutely slays her role as the mother Kara, and she does an absolutely killer job portraying her descent into madness as flashbacks into her dark past continue to haunt her well into their move into the new house. The kids Jesse (Arman Darbo) and Cambria (Chloe Perrin) also play a tremendous role in the film, and their roles were performed flawlessly - but Roberts definitely stole the show for me with this one. There's enough drama going on between the family and even Walter that you'll be more than ready for the action when it kicks in. And when it does finally kick in, it's a pretty wild ride of an amazingly done, effortlessly executed spider villain. After catching your first glimpse of this thing, you're going to be on edge waiting for the next scene that she makes her appearance. She looks, moves, and attacks beautifully and feels completely authentic - I cannot stress enough just how amazing this thing looks. And when you blend in the notable, beautiful camera work, Itsy Bitsy feels like its worth your hour and a half. Granted, none of the attack scenes are really all that over the top, but they're still fun and haunting, and if you've got even the slightest bit of arachnophobia, you're gonna have a hard time getting through this terror - and I mean that in a good way!
Once you get through the storyline filler and some awkward sheriff scenes with Denise Crosby, it feels like the payoff is totally there to make Itsy Bitsy a fun arachnid film. Obviously going up against classic films like Arachnophobia and Eight Legged Freaks is a big undertaking - and while it may not live up to the classics of the genre, it's still a fun flick to save for a stay-in Friday night. The legend that gets told about the spider, her egg, and her animosity towards humanity is pretty badass, and makes for a great basis for the plot, so if anything, you'll walk away from this movie hearing a sick story that I kinda wish was true. Overall, Itsy Bitsy really wasn't cheesy in the slightest - quite the opposite, in fact! It was very well done, filled with some pretty great practical effects work and some sick shots. If you're a fan of the arachnid genre, give this one a go!